Going on for ever?
January seems to be going on for ever - endless sunny days of summer gardening with two cats, two kittens, a border collie puppy and a gang of chooks. The big irrigation is now running at nights - serious watering has begun!
Rusty the Red Border Collie Puppy
Thursday 27th January
Today I am going to trim absolutely every garden edge (and get absolutely every lawn mowed) - I am getting the garden 'ready' for a very special visitor this weekend! Hmm... I wonder if I can get the whole garden organised all at once? This question is not new, and usually ends in tears (well, rather more in thoughts of hiring garden help). It's a bit like showing off unreliable children, all neatly dressed and scrubbed, for the first time:
This is the Willow Tree Garden - you'll have to excuse him, he's still very young... and this is the Frisbee Lawn - oh, no! who's been a naughty lawn and gone all brown? So sorry about that, he was green when I last looked!
Showing Off the Garden
It's actually quite hard to relax and walk slowly through ones own garden showing it off. I remember the first outside garden visitor I had - it was a self-esteem disaster, and I zoomed the intruder through the whole garden in about a minute.
Now, of course, I am much more confident - and experienced! I think a three-tiered system might be best - first, let the visitor loose to wander around (and fall off The Plank into the water race), then fortify with hot coffee and finally escort slowly, wiggling both ways through every single path so the garden seems bigger! Ha! And on a plant-detail note - what (if anything) am I going to do in the long term with the lilac Phloxes? They are in full flowering swing, and I like them again! Fickle!
Summer Lilac Phlox by the Glass-House
Much Later, and Much Hotter...
I have been working very hard! But I have rationalised the preparation of the semi-open garden. Garden visitors are generally polite, thus:
- 1. Polite visitors will stay on the edges of gardens. They will not barge through into the middles.
- 2. Polite visitors will use paths - but again will not barge through, up, over, and under vegetation which is blocking a path. This would not be polite, and might damage a plant.
So I have been doing edges, clearing paths, and ignoring middles. Does that make sense?
Saturday 29th January
Oops. Yesterday my manic gardening mood sort of dissolved, and I did very little (just a few edges around the house gardens). Will today be a different story? First, some observations. The garden suddenly seems to be roseless (it isn't - the latest rose to flower, The Fairy, is in mid-bloom). There seem to be less random dahlias than previous years (this is a problem? - not sure).
- Lavatera :
- These flowering annuals put on a brilliant colour display all summer - and they'll self-seed without being a nuisance.
The pink annual Lavateras are finally flowering madly. And the striped Cannas are finally rising! There are daisies (boring). And a lot of the lawns have suddenly got huge brown patches (damaged by puppy pee? - there's not that much pee in a puppy!)...
I need to write an inspired list. Hmm... Can't think of anything to put on it that isn't totally and immediately obvious (and boring)... Enough writing! The Head Gardener seems to be in one of those contrary moods, and this does not need to be inflicted on anyone else any longer.
Cream and Pink Flax
Ha! I have returned in a much better frame of gardening mind. In fact, I have accomplished much today - all the Moosey paths are cleared and prepared for my garden visitor. It was lucky that I cleared in the Hump - some serious watering was urgently needed in my new Native Garden. It appears that self-sown Pittosporums are great in here, but the ones that I planted are not quite as tough - yet!
Sunday 30th January
Oops! Oops! And another big oops! I am so silly! It's about the special garden visitor. I have been having heaps of fun preparing the garden for her. I have even cleaned the gum leaves out of the house decking pots - extreme gardening! And I have even been hostess-practising - the routes to take, the vistas to point out, humble little phrases, etc. Every single Moosey edge is trimmed. And every single Moosey path is passable. Hmm... I thought today was the day. I have just worked out that I am ONE MONTH early! Aargh!
A lot will change in the garden in one month (a stunning statement). Aargh! I now have an extra four weeks of raking gum leaves, doing edges and watering sad Pittosporums. Perhaps the lawns could be encouraged to return to a consistent green? You realise this now changes my whole day. What on earth will I do in the garden?
Daisies and Cannas
Well, the wind has blown all day, and I have been watering and weeding in the new Native garden at the end of the Hump. There's no way that my paths will stay clear for a whole month! And all the edges will need trimming again! And the Frisbee Lawn will be even browner! Aargh! Such is the cycle of gardening!
Sunday 31st January
Crikey! My little garden with gum tree leaves cluttering every lawn is suddenly put into a global perspective - the Moosey London Legends have finally published their photographs and stories about English Gardens - for example, the Beth Chatto Gardens in Sussex. When I was last in England I really really wanted to visit these gardens - but I got totally put off by the road map and the thickness of the roads (in other words, they were important, zooming motorways, and I was feeling more like a ramble along country lanes). How foolish! Thousands of miles from home and I chickened out...
Back down to the dry summer earth - now I'm looking out at my totally messy house lawns (thank you so much to the wind, which blew down lots more gum rubbish last night). I wonder if Beth Chatto has problems with gum trees? Blasted Australians! Before I allow myself a green-with-envy peek at the new pages from the Moosey London Team I have to clear all mess visible from either the house patio or the morning decking. And I have to get all the hoses on! Aargh! Beth Chatto wouldn't be silly enough to have gardens and lawns underneath huge inherited gum trees.